3rd Floor Mardigian Library
Hours: During exhibitions, Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m
The University of Michigan-Dearborn Department of Art Collections and Exhibitions preserves, displays, and interprets a treasured art collection that has been acquired by the university over the past four decades. The collection consists of 20th and 21st century artwork of all media and styles with a large portion being studio glass. Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, Jacob Lawrence, Electra Stamelos, Vera Sattler, Howard Ben Tré, Fred Birkhill, Herb Babcock, and Dale Chihuly are just a few of the globally known artists represented.
The university owns more than 3000 pieces of artwork, many of which were donated by Alfred Berkowitz and Bill and Electra Stamelos, close friends of UM-Dearborn and curator emeritus Joseph Marks. The many prized watercolor, acrylic and oil paintings by late artist and former art professor Electra Stamelos are a collection highlight. Generous glass donations from William and Nancy Culp and Richard and Louise Abrahams have been notable recent additions.
The Art Collections and Exhibitions Department enhances the academic and educational experiences of students, faculty, staff and the general public by displaying this remarkable collection throughout campus, loaning it to other institutions, making it accessible for research, and curating and managing a thriving exhibition program in the Alfred Berkowitz Gallery. Exhibitions featured in the art gallery, located on campus in the Mardigian Library, utilize artworks from the permanent collection and on loan from other institutions, as well as current work from renowned regional and national artists.
Many gallery exhibitions are designed to complement and augment university curriculum. UM-Dearborn students and faculty have the unique opportunity to directly research and interact with the artwork in the collection. In addition, the gallery allows museum studies students the opportunity to gain professional experience curating and installing exhibitions within a working art gallery, as well as writing and publishing exhibition catalogs. The department also offers internships for students interested in curation and collections management.
This stunning, untitled, cast glass piece from the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s permanent art collection was created by František Vizner (1936 - 2011). Vizner, a world renowned, major Czech glass artist, was trained at the famous glassmaking schools in Nový Bor and Železný Brod before completing his studies at the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague. This work is a beautiful illustration of the artist’s passion for creating harmonious, geometric objects instilled with internal tension. His luminous art demonstrates elegance, simplicity, remarkable craftwork, and a deep admiration for the material. Vizner created his works on his own, without assistants, through a lengthy process of casting, sandblasting, acid-etching, and hand-polishing.
Vizner’s work is represented in public and private collections around the world including the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, N.Y., the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. This piece was generously donated to UM-Dearborn by Robert Loeffler.
---Laura Cotton, Art Curator and Gallery Manager